Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss, James Purefo
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Story: Action drama directed by Ben Wheatley in which the story set in London centers on a new residential tower built on the eve of Margaret Thatcher’s rise to power, at the site of what will soon become the world’s financial hub. Designed as a luxurious solution to the problems of the city, it is a world apart.
Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston) is a young doctor seduced by the high-rise and its creator, the visionary architect Anthony Royal (Jeremy Irons). Laing discovers a world of complex loyalties, and also strikes up a relationship with Royal’s devoted aide Charlotte (Sienna Miller).
Sensing discord amongst the tenants, Laing meets Richard Wilder (Luke Evans), a documentary filmmaker relegated to the second floor who is determined to provoke the class injustices inherent in the high-rise. Wilder initiates Laing into the hidden life of the high-rise and Laing is shocked at what he sees. As the residents break into tribal factions, Laing finds himself in the middle of mounting violence, violence that he also finds emerging in himself.
Verdict: The movie has a bizarre, chaotic energy to it that is sometimes very hard to follow. It starts out strong and tries to blend art house cinema with a more mainstream approach but by the end of it you just become lost as to what really happened. However, it does give a great cast and it is filmed beautifully.
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 24)
Dr. Robert Laing: [voice over] Ever wanted something more? Ever thought there could be a better way to live free from the shackles of the old, tired world? This development is the culmination of a lifetimes work by esteemed architect, Anthony Royal. The High-Rise has forty floors of luxury apartments filled with every modern convince. Onsite we have a fully stocked super-market, gym facilities, swimming pool, spa, school. There is almost no reason to leave. People from all walks of life are here too. There are many opportunities to make new friends, possibly fall in love. So why not join us? Joins us at the High-Rise.
Dr. Robert Laing: [voice over] Laing was satisfied with life in the High-Rise, he felt able to relax, more in charge of himself.
Dr. Robert Laing: [voice over] For all it’s inconveniences, Laing was satisfied with life in the High-Rise. Ready to move forward and explore life. How exactly, he had not yet decided.
[after accidently dropping he ashtray down into Lang’s balcony waking him from his sun bathing naked]
Charlotte Melville: I’m so sorry.
Dr. Robert Laing: I’ll survive.
Charlotte Melville: I thought you were empty.
Dr. Robert Laing: I just moved in.
Charlotte Melville: You’re an excellent specimen. Why don’t you come up later and have a drink?
Nathan Steele: You don’t know how things work around here, do you?
Dr. Robert Laing: I’m a fast learner.
[Laing enters Royal’s office]
Anthony Royal: Ah, Dr. Laing, I hear you play squash.
Dr. Robert Laing: Yes, I do. You built all this.
Anthony Royal: Dreamt, conceived, I hardly rolled my sleeves up. Of course the project’s far from finishes. It’ll five towns in all, circling the lake, something like an open hand. The lake is the palm, and we stand on the distal phalanx of the index finger.
[he turns and points to the drawing on his plans]
Anthony Royal: There. I put all my energy into this town, I’m it’s midwife so to speak.
Dr. Robert Laing: Hm. It looks like the unconscious diagram of some kind of psychic event.
Anthony Royal: Oh, that’s good. May I use that?
Dr. Robert Laing: By all means.
Anthony Royal: Of course I’m a modernist by trade. You a doctor will understand one prescribes as required. That folly out there is for my wife, her chief distraction is the careful cultivation of an intense of nostalgia.
Dr. Robert Laing: For what?
Anthony Royal: Why delve.
Anthony Royal: My car was crushed by a reversing cement truck.
Dr. Robert Laing: I’m afraid I’m not a physiotherapist.
Anthony Royal: Oh, I know what you are, Dr. Laing. Constant exercise is the only thing that keeps the pain at bay. So you could say not only am I the building’s first road casualty but I am the architect of my own accident. What do you think of that?
[as Laing’s about to reply he hears a horse neighing]
Dr. Robert Laing: Is that a horse?
Anthony Royal: Probably. My wife rides.
Dr. Robert Laing: On the fortieth floor?
[at Helen and Richard Wilder’s apartment party]
Dr. Robert Laing: Yes, I’m afraid I’m not very good at this sort of thing.
Helen Wilder: Slotting in, you mean?
Dr. Robert Laing: Yes, uh, I was rather expecting to find a certain kind of anonymity here.
Helen Wilder: Don’t worry, people don’t usually care what happens two floors above or below them.
Dr. Robert Laing: Good.
Helen Wilder: Charlotte’s different, she’s on all sorts of committees. She said your tenancy application was very ironic.
Dr. Robert Laing: Did she really? Well, I’m determined to get everything right.
[Laing finishes his drink]
Helen Wilder: Right. Top up?
Dr. Robert Laing: Yes, thank you.
Helen Wilder: Which floor are you?
Dr. Robert Laing: Uh, twenty-five. One floor down.
Helen Wilder: Tennis?
Dr. Robert Laing: Uh, no, squash actually.
Helen Wilder: That’s twenty I think. Why here and not a bachelor pad in town?
Dr. Robert Laing: Well, an investment in the future I suppose. I feel like I needed a clean slate, to put my mark on.
Helen Wilder: We’re down in the bottom with all sorts of shadows. Most families are, real ones anyway.
Nathan Steele: You, uh, blocked the shoot.
Dr. Robert Laing: I’m sorry?
Helen Wilder: Oh, this is Steele, he’s in teeth.
[Laing extends his hand to shake Steele’s]
Nathan Steele: You don’t know how things work around here yet, do you?
Dr. Robert Laing: Uh, no. but I’m a fast learner.
Robert the Caretaker: If you lower people overload the system they’ll be power cuts.
Secretary: How’s the high life?
Dr. Robert Laing: Prone to fits of mania, narcissism and power failure.
Richard Wilder: We pay the same charges as the top floors, we want our fair share of the power.
Helen Wilder: [to Richard] Things would be better if we could afford to move to a higher floor.
Pangbourne: Your husband fears intent on colonizing the sky, and who can blame him when you look at what’s going on at street level.
Pangbourne: I think we should be prepared to meet moderate resistance.
Richard Wilder: The ones who are the real danger are the self-contained types like you.
Dr. Robert Laing: I think you’re right.
Anthony Royal: [to Laing] Teething problems. Building’s still settling.
[Wilder bans on Laing’s front door as Laing pretends his not in]
Richard Wilder: Laing, listen, I’ve had an idea, a solid one. I need an introduction to the architect. I’m going to make a documentary about this place. That young man, Munrow, you know, the one who died last night he’ll make a good starting point.
[Wilder turns to leave but turns back]
Richard Wilder: I mean doesn’t it seem odd, Laing, that a man can fall from the thirty-ninth floor and not one police car turn up! Where’s the investigation, Laing! I mean, where’s the sirens!
[Laing just listens on the other side of the door]
Richard Wilder: Laing!
[Wilder smacks the front door in frustration a couple of times]
Richard Wilder: Christ!
Dr. Robert Laing: What have you got there?
Toby: A kaleidoscope.
Dr. Robert Laing: What can you see through that thing?
Toby: The future.
Dr. Robert Laing: [voice over] One thing was certain, Laing would surrender to a logic more powerful than reason.
Charlotte Melville: We all have to do things we don’t want to do. It’s what growing up is all about.
Richard Wilder: You just sit there and think about what you’ve done.
Anthony Royal: How dare you judge me!
Total Quotes: 24
The “What Floor Would You Live On” Interactive Quiz:
I came out as middle floors!